Optimism and rebellion, the creative trends of Adobe Stock for 2022

That is so: the global pandemic has changed our way of life and the way we see the world around us. And if 2021 has taught us anything, it is that we are not yet going to say goodbye to COVID-19, at least in the short term. In this context, we start a new year in which it seems that the “new normality” is here to stay: remote work, digital transformation, relationships through online channels…

And it is that after months of restrictions, social distancing and various quarantines, people are thirsty for optimism. And precisely this insatiable thirst for fun, humor and entertainment is going to mark the creative creative trends that we will see in the coming months. On the other hand, the uncertainty created by the pandemic has made us more eager to create authentic and meaningful connections that help protect our well-being and that of our loved ones.

From Adobe Stock they have been analyzing these two great motivations through user data and in a multitude of campaigns that brands from around the world have carried out to create their creative forecasts for 2022. In them, they bring us the most relevant trends in fields such as photography, illustration, vector graphics, motion graphics or 3D.

Visual trends for 2022

the power of fun

Far from more cautious or sober messages, brands have thrown themselves into optimism and fun: bright and bold colors, games and dances, animated elements and a good dose of nostalgia. And it is that beyond sympathy, what really moves this trend is the courage and determination to move forward and keep smiling in the face of the growing challenges that are presented to us.

Credits: Left: Adobe Stock / miriamdrawings, Right: Adobe Stock / Gerardo

take care of yourself

We are all struggling with a certain degree of exhaustion and insecurity due to the pandemic. In these moments of uncertainty, people are turning to the courage to prioritize and maintain our mental health. We have seen this even in world-class elite athletes who have refused to compete in high-level sporting events to protect themselves and make us see that we all need to set firm limits for ourselves in the service of our mental well-being.

Credits: Adobe Stock / Hayden Williams/Stocksy

Prioritize our planet

Concern about the environment and climate change continues to increase, largely due to the different natural catastrophes that we have experienced during 2021. Fires, floods or heavy snowfalls have made headlines in the press, raising this problem to public opinion. However, this trend goes beyond the need for greater sustainability, but seeks to capture the need to regenerate and reverse our course towards environmental devastation. In this way, as consumers become more aware of issues related to the environment, the big brands continue to work on emphasizing their alignment with these values.

Credits: Left: Adobe Stock / IKON Images, Right: Adobe Stock / Jen Grantham Photography/Stocksy


Movement as a central theme in brand campaigns not only responds to an aesthetic criterion, but is also a way of experiencing the corporeality of elements without having to touch them. Whether we’re alone, working remotely, or socially distanced, these visual elements help us stay connected sensorily, at least in our minds.

Clockwise from top Credits: Adobe Stock / Rennie Solis, Adobe Stock / master1305, Adobe Stock / Sergey Filimonov/Stocksy

Design trends for 2022

Soft Pop

Playful and flexible shapes define this trend: emojis, cartoons, symbols full of personality, soft and rounded figures… “Soft Pop” is closely related to the visual trend “The power of fun” as it radiates a playful optimism to through its shapes and sweet colors. In this case, typography also plays a major role through voluminous fonts, in the form of bubbles, etc.

Credits: Left: Adobe Stock / 3Djustincase, Right: Adobe Stock / Alexey

new naturalism

The aesthetic of the new naturalism is defined by its pristine modernism and its almost clinical elevation of the organic. These visual elements are inspired by process art, post-minimalism and clean living. Thus, we can find it in fresh and contemporary designs that highlight the elements of the composition to make a statement, seeing how it appears in many industries, especially in fashion, beauty and interior design.

Credits: Adobe Stock / rawpixel

craft patriotism

Folk art, patterns, illustration and design are the starting point of this trend that materializes in different hyperlocal and regional artistic and design elements that mix the colorful and the chaotic with organic and geometric shapes. In addition, they also feature an abundance of figures and nature-related themes, as well as decorative serif or hand-drawn typefaces. This trend is especially powerful in textile and pattern design, as well as in packaging, graphic identities, illustration, stationery and layout.

Credits: Left: Adobe Stock / Happy Dragon, Right: Adobe Stock / Wiji Lacsamana.

visions of another world

This trend starts from a slightly cynical but imaginative and progressive alternative reality. Combining influences and elements of Afrofuturism, the solarpunk and aesthetics vapor wave, these designs can include smooth color gradients, ethereal illustrations, optical illusions, and wild design combinations that explore dreamy contrasts.

Credits: Above: Adobe Stock / pixelbuddha, Bottom: Adobe Stock/ orangeberry

Motion trends for 2022

The expansion of the metaverse

Much is being said lately about the metaverse, that world of virtual spaces with which users can interact, connect and explore online. More and more brands are getting into this game, which is slowly spreading off the internet and into our physical reality with a barrage of visuals incorporating digital effects, grids, and 3D graphics.

Credits: Adobe Stock / irina

Get active

An extension of the “On the Move” visual trend that follows the huge popularity of movement, dance and rhythm in today’s hottest arenas. Brands like Apple, Adidas or Toyota have already shown in their advertising that the world not only wants but needs to move.

Credit: Adobe Stock / DMegies

three-dimensional delicacies

Hyper-realism meets a sense of sweetness and whimsy, using cutting-edge advanced technology to create surreal levels of fun. This moving trend is appearing everywhere on the internet and especially in outdoor advertising, with visual campaigns that play on scale, optical illusions and cartoon effects to convey a sense of depth.

Credits: Adobe Stock / RocknRoller Studios

Texts and captions

Texts, photo captions, subtitles… Text elements are essential for content on social networks in 2022 since most videos are consumed without sound (either by user choice or because the platforms play them silently by default) . This is why adding text overlays has become an essential part of creating successful video campaigns for Instagram, TikTok or Facebook.

Credits: Adobe Stock / Wavebreak Media

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